Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I just kept on knitting

I'm back to knitting on the husband's second blue sock as I take a breather. I have been conducting an epic, action packed, 10 year-old's dream summer vacation. I did things I haven't done in decades. We swam, biked, bowled, ice skated, roller skated, jumped at a trampoline park, and slid down water slides to list a few highlights. Fortunately, I only fell off my bike once to my embarrassment, bruising my leg and ego.

The young one is back in school now and I'm organizing my next projects. I did finish the pair of socks that I mentioned in a prior post but I've been hesitant to show them. They didn't turn out as I had hoped so I won't be writing the pattern.

The motif which I thought looked cool on paper didn't turn out as clear as I would have liked in knitting.

The funny thing is that I finished them. I should have frogged them but I just kept on knitting. They are my socks now. They're shorties and very comfy. I like the leg height and basic placement of the designs but I need to go back to the drawing board for something different.

Right now I'm challenging myself to design a color work cowl with double knitting, Do you double knit? It's an adventure!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Minnie moving to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (and an Artist Moment)

I have been writing for so long and for so many alternate markets that it was stunning to learn that my work was put into the fold of a large publisher. Assets of MeeGenius (like Minnie's Green Book) have been acquired by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - really, for real!

It's a hard journey to publication for picture books, especially picture books like mine with more words than the market standard (at the moment 400-500 words). Minnie is written more like picture storybooks of old. I don't know why, it just came out that way.

Anyway seeking an agent is like hunting for unicorns. They are particular. You must have the incantation (query) written exactly right and know their favorite watering holes, all while not looking like a creepy hunter/stalker. Seeking one of the large publishers is like knocking on the door of a castle to ask for a seat at tea time. Agent unicorns are invited; almost everybody else is not. So I've been hanging out in Sherwood Forest with a merry band of e-publishers and having a jolly time.  I wish MeeGenius the best in their next adventure.

I don't think I've shown many people the few illos that Mary Parker had done for Minnie. She had started them late in life and couldn't complete the number required for ebook publishing. Here is one of my favorites where the fairies are dancing on Minnie's flute, messing up her practice.

Copyright:  Mary F. Parker

I think I have at least one more Minnie story to write between managing the family and the knit designing. I hope my new castle will support it.

Next up: New socks

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Moment In Sock

I didn't want to let July completely pass without a hello to the blog. It has been super hot around here. Hard to knit in the heat, much less think about knits.

I have been working on a new sock design though. Here is a teaser of the first sock off the needles, unblocked in fuzzy glory:

That's worked in Knit Picks Stroll, cork and pumpkin colors.

I'm on a bit of a sock design bender and I finally figured out why. Last year I stubbed my second toe at the gym. It hurt but I put ice on it and worked (probably like most busy moms) to ignore it while taking care of everybody else. After some six to eight weeks later, my toe still hurt and I finally went to a foot doctor. He told me I broke it and that he could have done something for me if I had come in within the first two weeks. But not to worry it wouldn't interfere with anything and will take another two months to fully heal. Doh!

Now it just sort of looks weird in a slight permanently stubbed way. But I'll always remember how I didn't take care of myself though and for that I'm knitting lots of socks.

Take care of your feet. Stick to your knitting. Fall is coming.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jackson Soaring Hat plus five designer years

I can't let June pass without reflecting on my designer anniversary of sorts. Five Junes ago, I was hit by an idea, knit, wrote up my first pattern and launched it on Ravelry. I had no idea what I was getting into but it was fun.

Since then, I've come a long way, learned a whole lot, and happily it's still fun! I thank everybody for all the support and help given.

Right now, I've been knitting on things that I can't show yet. (I'm on a sock design bender at the moment.) But I did make a hat out of that lovely Jackson yarn I showed you in this post.

Yes, it is a fuzzier version of Soaring. It turned out lovely. Despite the 100 degree (F) weather here, I managed to wear it ice skating with my daughter. I know I'll enjoy it this winter when I go out to monitor the school bus stop.

One more interesting thing to show you is this cactus that was probably transplanted into our yard by a squirrel about three years ago. It's been blooming yellow flowers this year, amazing.

Happy June!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Winter Eyes Socks Pattern

Released today on Ravelry, a new fun sock pattern I call Winter Eyes Socks.

The design started with a skein of Knit Picks Stroll Tweed and Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer. The combo seemed so unlikely until I imagined a log cabin in the woods with glowing eyes. I added in some God's Eye motifs to make it all right. Why yes, I have read a few spooky novels! Why do the teenagers have to open that door?

I also had some knitters in mind who would prefer stranded colorwork in the round. So there's a pretty mellow (for me) chart that repeats once for front and back.

Enjoy the knit!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Artist Moment: Ghosts In the Night Cover Reveal

I finally got a look at the official cover for my Ghosts In the Night on the Zing library. It's at the pre-K level in realistic fiction.

But look, here's the cover thumbnail:

I am happy.

In knitting, I've temporarily abandoned dh's newest blue sock (well I did finish one sock). I've been knitting another hat and testing a sock pattern.

I'll tell you about these socks soon.

Maybe even tomorrow.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Soaring Hat Pattern now available

It is Mother's Day here. It's a great day to talk about my new hat pattern, Soaring.

I would say talk about my new hat, but the sample I made has already been gifted to my sweet mother-in-law. (Happy Mother's Day!)

I always wanted a hat with a little lace, but not too much, and a little slouch, but not too much. I felt like the Soaring Cowl had some strong lines that would look good on a hat. The Knit Picks Galileo yarn is a great choice because of it's bamboo content which makes it smooth, light and drape nicely. It's also soft for sensitive skin.

I went back and forth on how many lace repeats to do. I decided four was enough but there is room to modify and easily slip in five. Just depends on how much privacy in the back you would like.

This pattern should hopefully be up on Knit Picks website in a few weeks but right now I have it in my Ravelry store.

Thanks for looking. Next up will be a fun sock!